Aussie Focus

De Francesco soloes to big NRS win at Tour de Brisbane

Gold Coast's newest cycling talent Danielle De Francesco (Specialized Women's Racing) has shocked herself to take the first National Road Series win of her career at the 2021 Tour de Brisbane.

De Francesco bided her time until the third of three ascents of Mt Coot-tha to surge away from an elite in pursuit of Roxsolt Attaquer p/b Liv SRAM's Justine Barrow.

With the catch of Barrow made on the high-speed descent of Coot-tha, De Francesco continued to apply the pressure on the long descent able to create a small gap before the run back into the heart of Brisbane.

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The professional triathlete was at her strongest in the final ten kilometres of the race, switching herself into time trial mode to eventually win by 1:11 over Barrow.

"I was really shocked rolling over the line in first," De Francesco said. "I didn’t expect it - I was always going to give it my all but I’m shocked and very happy to come away with a first NRS win.

"The climb was pretty tame the first two times around, and then on the last time we had a little break of about five or six of us including Emily Roper and Justine Barrow.

"I knew she (Barrow) would be one to watch up the last climb and I just had my eyes set on her up there.



"On the downhill coming down Coot-tha I caught Justine and then just kept going on my own, time-trialling to the end.

"I had no idea what was going on back there, I could see a few motorbike lights and thought they might be close but turns out I had a bit of a gap."

The 28-year-old is an elite athlete many times over in other sports, competing in world championships in open-water swimming before transitioning to triathlon where she currently is a professional. She's a working dietician as well, a recent graduate from university with her own office as part of Pogo Physio on the Gold Coast and she's clearly made big improvements in her short time focusing more on the bike.

Perennial contender Justine Barrow was just over a minute behind for second, ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast's Anya Louw leading the next group home, winning the sprint for third and the young rider classification as a group of three home over three minutes behind de Francesco.


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3 min read
Published 12 July 2021 at 2:04am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS